A settlement between the Juan F. Luis Hospital and the union representing certified nursing assistants laid off in February creates a path for some of them to be rehired if they meet specific criteria.
The hospital announced the settlement in a press release Thursday.
According to hospital spokeswoman Xaulanda H. Simmonds-Emmanuel, the United Industrial Workers Seafarer’s International Union, which represents the CNAs, filed a grievance against the hospital after the layoff of 85 CNAs and licensed vocational nurses. The settlement announced Thursday came as a result of arbitration over that grievance.
Under the settlement, the hospital agreed to re-employ as many as 20 of the laid-off CNAs if they obtain certification to become a certified medical assistants or other specific certified technicians from an accredited educational institution by May 31, 2014.
In essence, Simmonds-Emmanuel said, the agreement puts as many as 20 of the CNAs at the front of the line for hiring if they obtain the proper certification.
The hospital said it is not financially strong enough to rehire all the CNAs who were laid off. The settlement provides a chance to enhance the skills of the local workforce and the employment needs of the healthcare community, the news release said.
Other terms of the agreement stipulate:
- JFL try to re-employ former CNAs in vacant bargaining unit positions, providing they are qualified and willing to perform the available work;
- Former CNAs hired for specific certified technician positions will receive a $1,000 signing bonus within 30 days of the start of employment. The employee may opt to receive $500 of the $1,000 in advance to assist with educational expenses, and will be required to return the advance payment if he or she does not complete the course of study by May 31, 2014.
“JFL continues to delicately balance our financial situation with the growing needs of our community and we see this agreement as a way of addressing both,” said Jeff Nelson, chief executive officer of the hospital.